Do students really want luxury dorms?

Madison Rexroat

UK is actually the University of Kenstruction as everywhere you turn there are new dorms, new facilities, new ~everything~ being built. But for all the millions of dollars spent on those new amenities (many of which we upperclassmen will never actually see), how important is luxury to new students?

Updated and high-tech classroom buildings used to be the priority of universities, but now, appealing to the student experience requires much more. New construction on college campuses nationwide led to an 88 percent increase in debt taken on by colleges between 2001 and 2012. That increase, along with raises in student fees, funded fancy new facilities like on-campus rock-climbing walls (@ the Johnson Center) and private dorm rooms.

Along with these amenities, however, comes higher costs for present and future students, but the more students have to pay (financial aid won’t always cover everything), the less likely they are to graduate.

At Georgia State University, where a $168 million student living complex stands, the most popular housing option was not the pricier apartment-style dorms but rather the less expensive Patton Hall with smaller rooms and bathrooms (shared between 3 people), all with typical modern amenities like Wi-Fi and study lounges. 

New buildings and cool amenities are vital to recruitment and retention in college, but with enrollments dropping and tuition increasing ever-so-steadily, colleges must decide what students truly want: luxury or affordability?

To read the full article by The Atlantic, click here.